Sunette Viljoen in the javelin qualifying round at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Beijing, China

Report: women’s javelin qualifying – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

It will be a different kind of women’s javelin final in Beijing, with only four athletes from the 2013 final making it into the top 12 here in Beijing.

And it wasn’t easy for all of them, as the two Germans – defending champion Christina Obergfoll and 2013 fourth-place finisher Linda Stahl – only made it with their last throws.

It was another German that surprised everyone in the qualification, though. Christin Hussong had won the European under-23 title with a 65.60m personal best, but World Championships qualification is a different competition. After the 21-year-old reached decent distances of 60.27m and 61.00m with her first two throws, she unleashed a 65.92m PB, well beyond the 63.50m automatic qualifying standard and the longest throw in the whole qualification.

China's Li Lingwei, who was eighth in Moscow, threw a 65.07m season’s best as the first thrower of group B, missing team-mate Zhang Li’s Asian record of 65.47m by just 4 centimetres.

World record-holder and double Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova qualified as the third best athlete with a 65.07m effort in round two. USA's Brittany Borman only had a 58.24m result to show before her third attempt, but she too gathered herself nicely and threw 64.22m.

Obergfoll’s first two throws landed beyond the sector to the right and were not long enough, but the reigning champion concentrated well on her third throw, which was a 64.10m automatic qualifier.

Canadian Liz Gleadle was all smiles after her first throw of 64.02m, the sixth best result in the qualification and only 81 centimetres from her national record. The South African world leader Sunette Viljoen also made it with her first throw of 63.93m.

German Katharina Molitor, fifth in Daegu in 2011, needed all of her three throws, qualifying with the last one of 63.23m in ninth overall.

The Chinese crowd was delighted to see Lyu Huihui going through with a 63.15m effort and Latvian Sinta Ozoliņa-Kovale threw a season’s best with her first throw. The last spot in the final went to USA's Kara Winger with a 62.21m throw.

Just four centimetres behind her was Latvian Madara Palameika, her 62.17m being the best result not to make it to the final today.

There were lots of high quality throwers who also didn’t advance. Zhang Li, the 2014 Asian champion and Asian record-holder, went out in 14th place, throwing a 61.80m season’s best in the first competition of her season. Ukrainian Hanna Hatsko-Fedusova didn’t make it with a 61.41m season’s best for 15th and Israeli Margarita Dorozhon, a 64.56m thrower this season, was 16th with 61.04m.

Australian Kathryn Mitchell, fifth in Moscow in 2013, was 17th with 61.04m and world junior record-holder Yulenmis Aguilar of Cuba threw 60.52m for 18th.

Australia's Kim Mickle, the silver medallist in 2013, was 22nd with 59.83m, throwing with a torn rotator cuff. Slovenia's Olympic and 2011 world finalist Martina Ratej threw 59.76m for 23rd. Russia's 2011 world champion Maria Abakumova was 30th overall with 56.08m in what has been a difficult post-childbirth season.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF